Nov 9, 2007

Selling Consulting Services

As a consultant I have never tried to go out and "sell" my services. When I met a training manager of a large ERP company he said "Where are you? There are so many mediocre trainers who aggressively sell their services, but are pretty mediocre when it comes to facilitation"

That quote told me that I was using an ineffective approach to selling my services.

Which is not to say that I will now approach training managers, try to call them and say, "Hey do you need management and leadership development consulting?" That approach might work to sell a time management training program but if I want to really add value to my clients and which justify my fees, then my clients have to call me.

When a prospective client calls you, without you ever approaching them, it's a metric for how effective your sales process is. Repeat clients and referral clients are of course testimony to your skills and service.

How do consultants do that? Well thought leadership is one way. But not all of us are able to get an article published in the Harvard Business Review. So it was a pleasure for me to chance upon Ford Harding's blog (via Steve Shu). Harding and his firm helps professional services firms on winning new clients, in other words, how professionals can become rainmakers.

Fascinating. Check this recent entry out:

I have it on good authority that one of Toronto’s leading executive recruiters gets his daily exercise by walking up and down one of the most heavily trafficked streets in the city. He does this at lunchtime when the sidewalk fills with business people. And every day he stops to talk briefly with three or four people he knows. Several times a year at one of these chance encounters, the person he runs into says, “I’m so glad I ran into you! We just . . .” and he gets a search. This works because he specializes in recruiting bankers, and he walks in the financial district.
Added to my feed reader for daily consumption :-)